David Mamet recently published an elegy to Patrick O'Brian in The New York Times. In it he said that only the genre writers are writing interesting English, creating characters that we eagerly wish to know and becoming part of our everyday lives. Loren Estleman is one of the best of the genre writers. His Amos Walker mysteries carry the torch of Chandler and MacDonald. His westerns carry the torch of L'Amour. But, unlike any of the others currently writing, he has also invented a new fictional genre. It is one in which the main character is a place, with a supporting cast that weaves in and out of its history. "Thunder City" is the seventh (and last) of the City of Detroit series, which seeks to define the character of Twentieth Century Detroit, one of the most gritty, down-to-earth, hard-working, corrupt, in-your-face, dangerous and exciting cities in America. I know. I grew up there. This series is recommended reading for anyone interested in genre fiction, but it is essential reading for anyone who feels connected to Detroit. You will recognize the culture, the locations, the history, the trivia, the conflicts, the voices, the attitude. It is a one-of-a-kind fictional endeavor that will someday compare with the formative novels of established genres. Not to be missed. You need them all: "Whiskey River," "Motown," "Edsel," "Stress," "King of the Corner," "Jitterbug" and "Thunder City." I suppose Loren Estleman will finally get his "best seller" due when he turns eighty, like Patrick O'Brian. Life just works out that way sometimes. But maybe, just maybe, there is a David Mamet somewhere who will speak out sooner this time around. Then maybe, just maybe, Loren Estleman will continue this marvelous series about the City of Detroit.